Root Beer and Banana

Overview

Sarah Sullivan's lyrical text and Greg Shed's warm, nostalgic illustrations lend a southern flavor to this gentle tale of friendship and small kindnesses.

Mister Mac's ceiling fan stirs the heat while the ice-cream freezer hums its steady tune.

Cold air hits my face when I slide the door open.

It's summer on the river, hot enough to melt the tar on the roof, and Squirt is happy to be at Mister Mac's General ...

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Overview

Sarah Sullivan's lyrical text and Greg Shed's warm, nostalgic illustrations lend a southern flavor to this gentle tale of friendship and small kindnesses.

Mister Mac's ceiling fan stirs the heat while the ice-cream freezer hums its steady tune.

Cold air hits my face when I slide the door open.

It's summer on the river, hot enough to melt the tar on the roof, and Squirt is happy to be at Mister Mac's General Store, where her grandfather is treating her to a cold, refreshing Popsicle. Her only dilemma is what flavor to choose — until she meets a girl named Miracle, with her brightly patched dress, who's a nickel shy of buying her own frozen treat. With some quiet help from Granddaddy, Squirt makes just the right choice and ends up with something even better than TWO Popsicles: a new friend.

Molly can't decide between two ice pop flavors one hot summer day, but the arrival of a new friend and some help from Grandaddy lead to the perfect solution.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this gentle story of kindness and friendship, Molly meets a girl named Miracle—because it was a Miracle that her mother was able to have another child—and finds a way to help her. Although Molly notices Miracle's patched dress, she is not critical but sees the yellow patches and surrounding stitches as "shiny suns." Molly also understands that the nickel Miracle found on the road is not enough to buy a ten-cent ice pop, as Miracle hopes, but Molly does not burst her bubble. Instead, she shows Miracle where the ice pops are in the general store and helps her pick one out. Then she tells her grandfather, with a knowing look, that she needs two ice pops, one for her new friend. Miracle tries to pay but grandfather insists on treating, while Molly squeezes his hand affectionately. The girls split their ice pops so each can have a taste of both root beer and banana. Then they sit in the shade of a willow tree to continue their friendship. The photos are soft, warm and nostalgic, mirroring the story and sentiment. A wonderful book for teaching kindness and understanding. 2005, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This nostalgic story opens on a hot summer day as Squirt and her grandfather, having fished to their limit, drive to Mister Mac's General Store on Main Street. While Mister Mac and Granddaddy visit together, she tries to decide between a banana and a root beer ice pop. She meets a girl named Miracle who has found a nickel and wants to buy an ice pop, but it costs 10 cents. Granddaddy pays for the treats, and the girls share their ices and swap stories like old friends. The soft edges and muted golden undertones of Shed's rich, full-page gouache paintings lend atmosphere to a childhood experience. The text is well laid out on pastel pages that further soften the art. A quiet, lyrical tale about friendship.-Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A girl's simple act of kindness leads to a new friendship in this quiet, utterly satisfying summer story. One hot afternoon, Granddaddy and Molly pack up their fishing rods and drive to Mister Mac's General Store where Molly takes her time staring at the ice pops in the freezer deciding if she wants root beer or banana. Then she sees a little girl wearing a patched dress waving from beneath the willow tree across the street. The girl's name is Miracle and she tells Molly she's come to buy an ice pop with a nickel she found on the road. Miracle selects root beer, but Molly knows the ice pops cost a dime so she artfully arranges for Granddaddy to treat them both. When Molly suggests she will give Miracle half her banana ice pop in return for half of Miracle's, the two girls are on the way to becoming friends. Soft, realistic gouache illustrations dappled with summer shadow and sunlight nicely reflect the melodic text and mellow mood. A refreshing summer treat. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763617486
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Sullivan received an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College. She writes from her home in Charleston, West Virginia, where she lives with her husband (who loves Popsicles) and her cat (who prefers ice cream). "When I was small," she says, "my granddaddy used to take me to a country store to buy Popsicles. When our family moved out west, I had to make new friends. I met a girl who offered to share her Popsicle with me, and we've been best friends ever since." This is Sarah Sullivan's first book.

Greg Shed is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including DANDELIONS and THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE by Eve Bunting, I LOVED YOU BEFORE YOU WERE BORN by Anne Bowen, and HARVEST HOUSE by Jane Yolen. "Working on ROOT BEER AND BANANA," he says, "reminded me of my own childhood, and the days when my grandfather would take me fishing." This is his first book with Candlewick Press.

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